Day 9 and 10 - Blue Ridge Parkway, VA/Washington, DC

We left central North Carolina around 9 am on Tuesday, arriving in Lynchburg, VA around 11. From there we took the Blue Ridge parkway north through some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen. The parkway cuts right up the Blue Ridge chain, and at certain points you can see for miles and miles in both directions. In Waynesboro we picked up some Bratwurst to grill for dinner and continued up Skyline Drive to our campsite at Big Meadows, where we bedded down for the night. Along the way we saw all kinds of wildlife: eagles, deer, snakes, and bears (a momma bear and her two cubs). The campsite had (soggy) firewood for sale, and it took us no less than 2 hours to get a fire going (the trick is to get a Duraflame log and put it underneath). Throughout the night, we were extremely paranoid about being eaten by bears. Any time so much as the sound of a twig breaking could be heard nearby, we shot up out of bed ready for a fight. Fortunately, the road trip stink we are starting to put off kept them at bay  The three of us spent a cozy night in a two-person tent and we woke up around 9:30 to finish the drive to Washington, DC. 

Along the short drive from Shenandoah National Park to Washington, we stopped in Warrenton, VA for brunch at Frost Diner. Baked ham, eggs, grits, toast, coffee YUM! From there we continued along interstate 66 and stopped for a sobering moment at the site of the first and second battles of Manassas (Bull Run if you're a yankee). After another hour or so we arrived in DC, where we met with my old friend from high school, Matt Bulger. Matt has a really cool apartment in Chinatown where he was kind enough to let us stay for the night. We walked the Jefferson, LBJ, and MLK jr. monuments before grabbing some BBQ at Smoke & Barrel heading over to the Tenley Town section of DC for our show. We had relatively sparse hopes for the night. We couldn't find a "show" show for DC, but last minute we decided to go there anyway and check out an open mic at the famous Politics and Prose bookstore. Down a central staircase in the store is a small (emphasis on "small") coffee shop called Modern Times. There was no stage, performers simply sat around the crowded room and performed when their names were called. After Cody and I performed, the host announced that we were her "spontaneous featured artists of the night" and we got to perform another short set while a tip cup went around the room. It went extremely well, we made plenty of money for gas, sold a few CDs, and made a few great connections. 

After watching some of the DC locals perform, we headed back downtown for a few rounds at some of Matt's favorite local bars. We met up with some of his friends and talked DC, music, life, etc. Nice folks everywhere we went! Afterwards, we took a taxi back to the apartment, had a couple more beers, ate some late night Chinese food, and hit the hay. Saturday morning at 10am we were on the road to Richmond, VA.